Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, a remake of the Black Isle Studios classic originally released in 2000, combines the original game as well as its two expansions, Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster, into a combined title with cross-platform multiplayer play as well as other enhancements for modern audiences.
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Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Review
Released in 2014, the remake comes from developer Overhaul Games and publisher Atari. Available for multiple platforms, such as PC and iOS/Android smartphones, Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition has changes to the interface here and there to accommodate for the machine on which it is being played (such as touch controls for the mobile version).
Overhaul Games didn’t just stop with tweaks to the interface here and there – they also added some new content to the game as well as the new blackguard class.
Updating an early 2000s PC RPG is no easy task, but Overhaul Games approaches it with as much care and concern for the original as possible while also taking into consideration the needs of modern players.
This is most evident in the multiplayer system which received a huge overhaul and is now much easier to accomplish than ever before.
Of course, with so many changes to core elements, people would not be remiss in worrying that something would somehow be lost in translation.
Thankfully, for the remake, Overhaul Games has kept the structural elements of the original game intact, including the implementation of 2nd generation Dungeons and Dragons rules.
The game was developed using an enhanced Infinity Engine. It also has widescreen features, a new option, and polished graphics.
A lot of the code for the original version of the game was lost, particularly with regard to the expansion Heart of Winter. Overhaul Games rebuilt this lost code using their code from the remake they made for Baldur’s Gate. Outside of code, most of the Icewind Dale art assets and other stuff was still around for the team to use.
Balancing what made the old game a classic with needed enhancements for modern games, Overhaul Games’ effort with Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is noteworthy for its adherence to what came before and the subtle improvements it introduced in the time since.
Even so, a lot of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition’s difficulties emerge from it being an older game – and especially from its heritage as a PC role role-playing.
The 1990s and the early 2000s PC RPGs were no joke. Often saddled with obscure mechanics and tough-as-nails difficulty settings, role-playing games that went by the Dungeons and Dragons rules were notable for their challenge.
On top of that, some of the graphics look dated in comparison to modern titles, even to the point that Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition looks a bit like an indie title.
Outside of that, music and sound are still sweeping and appropriately orchestral while core gameplay remains solid and a lot of fun.
- Great battle system that has gotten better with time
- Excellent story, world, lore, and characters
- Varied classes and equipment make it a different game every time
- It is an older game
- Difficulty can be an issue
- Graphics look especially dated on certain platforms